Review: House of Bathory by Linda Lafferty

21 January 2014

 Title:House of Bathory
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 Provided By: Amazon Publishing/ Netgalley


 In the early 1600s, Elizabeth Báthory, the infamous Blood Countess, ruled Čachtice Castle in the hinterlands of Slovakia. During bizarre nightly rites, she tortured and killed the young women she had taken on as servants. A devil, a demon, the terror of Royal Hungary—she bathed in their blood to preserve her own youth.
400 years later, echoes of the Countess’s legendary brutality reach Aspen, Colorado. Betsy Path, a psychoanalyst of uncommon intuition, has a breakthrough with sullen teenager Daisy Hart. Together, they are haunted by the past, as they struggle to understand its imprint upon the present. Betsy and her troubled but perceptive patient learn the truth: the curse of the House of Bathory lives still and has the power to do evil even now.

The story, brimming with palace intrigue, memorable characters intimately realized, and a wealth of evocative detail, travels back and forth between the familiar, modern world and a seventeenth-century Eastern Europe brought startlingly to life.

Inspired by the actual crimes of Elizabeth Báthory, The House of Bathory is another thrilling historical fiction from Linda Lafferty (The Bloodletter’s Daughter and The Drowning Guard). The novel carries readers along with suspense and the sweep of historical events both repellent and fascinating.

Past and present bridge in this tale of blood & family.
I like to think that I would love this book a great deal more if I didn't spend my childhood reading psychological  thrillers in the likes of Johnathan Kellerman.

The story alternates between the past and the present.

The grizzly tale of the Countess Báthory and her gruesome crimes are told through the eyes of the young horse master Janos Slivazy and the Countesses personal chambermaid, the pox-faced girl, Zuzzana. 
I liked this story a great deal, and it's clear the author did too, since she spent a great amount of time on it. The characters really came to life. 
Told in a unique new way; we are taken on the journey to 1600 Hungary and are witness to the abominable murders, and the actions that led to the death of so many young women.

The present story is set in Aspen and it centers around Betsy, Jungian psychoanalyst and her patient Daisy "The Goth"
This part of the story was not appealing  in the least. From shallow character development to absurd choices the characters made, and  the supernatural element (?); I was reading this part with one eyebrow raised in disbelief. 
The conclusion to the story was weak; the ending abrupt.

The point of the story was, I suppose, the effect of violence witnessed by the children and how that can affect them in life. 
That's my guess, but if it indeed is the case it should have been better executed.

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